Italy's parliament has passed a decree that sets a mandatory life sentence for the rape of children or attacks where the victim is murdered.
It also establishes rules for citizen street patrols to be carried out by unarmed and unpaid volunteers.
I don't like that fact that some politicians, such as Interior Minister Roberto Maroni of the anti-immigrant Northern League, are using recent sexual assaults, some of which were by immigrants to whip up xenophobia and anti-immigrant feeling.
However, I do believe that there should be a mandatory life sentence for the rape of a child, a mandatory twenty year sentence for the rape of an adult (at the very least) and a mandatory life sentence for rape and murder.
I'd also like to see street patrols like the Guardian Angels, people who work closely with the local police to protect others, like street pastors do.
In Harrow, where I used to live while attending Westminster University, there was a court case involving the rape of a fourteen year old girl last year.
Most disturbingly, prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis claimed that "there were clearly other men who were prepared to join in, waiting their turn rather than trying to stop the child being raped."
Tonight in Bristol, some courageous people are fighting back.
The Bristol Reclaim The Night March, accompanied by samba bands, is taking place from 6pm until late, with speeches at the Trinity Centre followed by music and dancing.
Earlier today, marchers, many with tin can candles, walked from College Green to the Trinity Centre. It's good to see Bristol Indymedia publicising this event (and that the site isn't as crazy as UK Indymedia).
Today, Bristol's new Sexual Assault Referral Clinic, The Bridge, opened, and later this year Bristol's first Rape Crisis centre will also open, in a county where only 4.2% of reported rapes end in a conviction.
The Bridge is in the central sexual health clinic in Tower Hill, near Castle Park.
Too many judges are handing down soft sentences to rapists. Three men who raped a sixteen year old in Seven Sisters and mutilated her with caustic soda were originally given under ten years each, but are now having their sentences reviewed.
I'd also like to see harsher punishments for those who abuse animals.
Eighteen year old Declan Baker of Angus, Scotland, was only fined £150 and handed a seven year pet ban and a 120 hour community order for putting a cat in a microwave, so this vile person will be able to keep animals again in a few years. Shame he wasn't microwaved himself. He should have been imprisoned for his crimes and banned from keeping animals for life, as well as fined much more.
Come on Labour, get tough on the rapists and animal abusers if you want to win a fifth term or at least avoid a massive defeat in 2010.